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Bible Commentaries
John 16

Edwards' Family Bible New TestamentFamily Bible NT

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Verse 1

Have I spoken unto you ; forewarning you of the persecutions that shall come upon you.

Offended ; led to apostatize, or commit sin, to avoid suffering.

Verse 2

Put you out of the synagogues ; chap John 9:22 . It is not enough that a man follow the dictates of conscience. His mind must be enlightened as to the will of God; and when he understands what that will is, he must be disposed to do it, or his conscience will not be a safe guide.

Verse 4

I was with you ; it was not then needful for them to know the trials that were coming upon them; but as he was to depart, it became needful that by looking to the Holy Spirit they might be prepared to meet them.

Verse 5

Whither goest thou? this very question had been asked before , chap John 13:36 , but in a different sense from that intended by our Lord. There the inquiry had respect simply to the place whither. Here it refers to the nature of the place, which is the right hand of God, and the great good thus to be secured for the disciples who remain behind for a season.

Verse 7

Expedient ; for the gift of the Spirit would be better for the church than the continued personal presence of Christ. Things which men exceedingly deprecate are often highly expedient; and God in accomplishing them consults not only his own glory, but their highest good, and the good of his kingdom.

Verse 8

Reprove ; convince.

Verse 9

Of sin ; especially the sin of rejecting the Saviour.

Verse 10

Of righteousness ; that he was perfectly righteous; and that his work was accepted of God as a ground for the justification of sinners. This was proved by his resurrection from the dead, and his ascension to heaven.

Verse 11

Of judgment ; that as Satan the god of this world was vanquished and condemned, so all his continued adherents will be, and have their part with him and his angels. Chap John 12:31 ; Matthew 25:41 .

Verse 12

Many things ; with regard to the object and effects of his death, and the establishment and progress of his kingdom.

Cannot bear them ; they were not then prepared rightly to apprehend and properly to improve additional instruction.

Verse 13

Into all truth ; all that would be needful to a full revelation of the gospel.

Not speak of himself ; not in opposition to, but in accordance with the Father and the Son. Chap John 5:19 ; John 5:30-31 ; John 12:49-50 .

That shall he speak ; he would communicate the will of the Father and the Son as far and as fast as the glory of God and the good of men would require.

Verse 14

Glorify me ; the effect of his teaching would be to honor the Saviour.

Shall receive of mine ; or, shall take of mine-shall take of the things that pertain to my person and work, which is the same thing as taking of things that pertain to the Father, since the Father and the Son are one in nature and counsel, and the Father has committed all things to the Son. These words give us one of the decisive tests by which true teaching may be distinguished from that which is false. All true teaching agrees with the testimony of the Holy Spirit in glorifying Christ.

Verse 15

Are mine ; Matthew 11:27 ; Matthew 28:18 .

Verse 16

A little while ; the Saviour designedly puts these words into the form of a divine riddle, to be solved by the event.

Ye shall not see me ; because he would be removed from their presence by death.

Ye shall see me ; they should see him in his personal presence after his resurrection. This, however, should be only the earnest of a more glorious spiritual vision of him through the Comforter, after his ascension to heaven. Compare chap John 14:19 .

Because I do to the Father ; it was by his death, resurrection, and ascension that Christ went to the Father, and these three events are here considered as constituting one whole.

Verse 18

We cannot tell what he saith ; cannot understand his meaning.

Verse 20

Weep and lament ; at his death.

The world ; wicked men.

Turned into joy ; by his resurrection and ascension, and the descent of the Holy Spirit. Men often weep at what will give them the greatest joy, and rejoice at that which will cause them the deepest sorrow.

Verse 21

Remembereth no more the anguish ; the time of Zion’s keenest anguish has always been the birth-time of her enlargement; and the time of the believer’s deepest sorrow, the birth-time of his highest and holiest joys.

Verse 23

Ask me nothing ; it would not be needful, as it then was, that they should make inquiries of him. The Holy Ghost would give them all needful instruction.

Verse 24

Asked nothing in my name ; they had not been accustomed before this to pray in the name of Christ; but after this they would be, and for his sake God would bestow whatever they needed.

Verse 25

In proverbs ; or parables-somewhat obscurely, and in such manner that they did not fully understand his meaning.

The time cometh ; after his resurrection, and the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Plainly ; he would more plainly instruct them by his Spirit, and they would more fully understand his truth.

Verse 26

I say not-that I will pray the Father ; that is, I say not this simply, but something more. The Saviour does not mean to deny that he will intercede with the Father for his disciples; but rather to lead their minds beyond this truth, which he had frequently stated, to another: that the Father is one with him in loving them, so that his intercession for them must prevail.

Verse 27

The Father himself ; of his own accord.

Verse 30

By this we believe ; he had in the last few verses so fully met their difficulties about his meaning in verse John 16:16 , and that without their stating them, that they were more than ever convinced of his omniscience and Messiahship.

Verses 30-32

Disciples of Christ may at some times possess and manifest strong confidence in him, and at others act as if they had none: were it not for his grace, all would utterly forsake him and perish.

Verse 32

To his own ; notwithstanding the strong faith in him which they had expressed, they would soon desert him and return to their homes, or places of abode; and so far as human friends were concerned, he would be left alone.

Verse 33

In me ; in living union with me.

In the world ; from the men and spirit of the world.

Overcome ; overcome all your enemies, and obtained for you eternal redemption from their power.

Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 16". "Edwards' Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/fam/john-16.html. American Tract Society. 1851.
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